The celebrated Canadian publisher Douglas & McIntyre has just announced that it is filing for protection from its creditors. In other words, it is trying to avoid bankruptcy and complete meltdown by reorganizing financially. This means, most likely, that its creditors will be forced to accept only a percentage of repayment, which further means that writers once again are going to be standing with their hands out, hoping for a few pennies.
At the same time, The Globe and Mail is going to a protected website where you'll have to pay for on-line access after you view 10 stories in a month. There is a way out: subscribe to the print edition. Fine, if you can get home delivery in your area, but otherwise it's another blow in the battle for the future of publishing.
Presumably those writing for the Globe will be paid for what they're doing. The wars over compensation for articles done from a newspaper and published on the web seem to be over. Some back pay for articles stolen was won. Newspapers are back using freelancers, it seems, but nobody is making the kind of money that used to be paid for a good, meaty article 15 years ago, according to my friends who continue to that sort of writing.
No, it's hard to see just where publishing is going, but the future doesn't look bright for anybody who hopes ot make a living at it.